Lightning hits 3 films

Shingle picks up Australian pics

SYDNEY — Los Angeles-based sales shingle Lightning Entertainment has taken international sales rights to three key Aussie films and has a further four in development, signaling renewed enthusiasm for product from Down Under and a hint of the personal bias of the shingle’s topper.

For roughly a decade during the 1980s and 90s, Richard Guardian held senior positions in Oz. Now the head of Lightning since 2002, he’s currently got five Oz pics on his sales slate.

The three new acquisitions include broad, coming-of-age drama “Hey, Hey, It’s Esther Blueburger” starring newcomer Danielle Catanzariti as a 13-year-old at private school, with Toni Collette and Keisha Castle-Hughes.

“West,” which screens at the Berlin Film Festival this week in Generation 14Plus, follows a group of working class kids from the suburbs for new director Daniel Krige.

“Kenny,” a low-key laffer about a hard-working plumber, was the highest-grossing local pic Down Under last year. Despite its colloquial charm, Guardian thinks it might have legs abroad.

A Stateside sales campaign is under way with “Kenny’s” helmer and star team, brothers Clayton and Shane Jacobson, on hand for screenings.

“The picture bowled me over with its heart and charm; it’s a real working man’s film,” Guardian says.

Odeon Sky Filmworks has acquired U.K. rights to “Kenny” with a commitment to give the pic a long, slow rollout akin to the Oz campaign.

In Oz, “West” will release though arthouse shingle Palace this year, while BVI is handling “Blueburger.”

Guardian says he has observed a change of attitude among the three first-time directors of the pics, which he hopes will usher in the end of the era when the financing trigger was too often pulled too early.

“This generation looks at government schemes and subsidy as a privilege, not a right,” Guardian says.

More Film

  • Does Cannes Have a Future? Yes,

    Does Cannes Have a Future? Yes, But the Festival Needs to Change

    SYDNEY — Los Angeles-based sales shingle Lightning Entertainment has taken international sales rights to three key Aussie films and has a further four in development, signaling renewed enthusiasm for product from Down Under and a hint of the personal bias of the shingle’s topper. For roughly a decade during the 1980s and 90s, Richard Guardian […]

  • DEADPOOL 2

    'Deadpool 2' Leads International Box Office With Powerful $176 Million Debut

    SYDNEY — Los Angeles-based sales shingle Lightning Entertainment has taken international sales rights to three key Aussie films and has a further four in development, signaling renewed enthusiasm for product from Down Under and a hint of the personal bias of the shingle’s topper. For roughly a decade during the 1980s and 90s, Richard Guardian […]

  • BlacKkKlansman

    Variety Critics Name the 12 Best Movies From Cannes 2018

    SYDNEY — Los Angeles-based sales shingle Lightning Entertainment has taken international sales rights to three key Aussie films and has a further four in development, signaling renewed enthusiasm for product from Down Under and a hint of the personal bias of the shingle’s topper. For roughly a decade during the 1980s and 90s, Richard Guardian […]

  • DEADPOOL 2

    Box Office: 'Deadpool 2' Propels to $125 Million Opening

    SYDNEY — Los Angeles-based sales shingle Lightning Entertainment has taken international sales rights to three key Aussie films and has a further four in development, signaling renewed enthusiasm for product from Down Under and a hint of the personal bias of the shingle’s topper. For roughly a decade during the 1980s and 90s, Richard Guardian […]

  • U.S.-China Film Talks Now Part of

    U.S.-China Film Talks Now Hostage to Trade War (Report)

    SYDNEY — Los Angeles-based sales shingle Lightning Entertainment has taken international sales rights to three key Aussie films and has a further four in development, signaling renewed enthusiasm for product from Down Under and a hint of the personal bias of the shingle’s topper. For roughly a decade during the 1980s and 90s, Richard Guardian […]

  • Director Hirokazu Kore-eda holds the Palme

    Why 'Shoplifters' Director Hirokazu Kore-eda is Cannes' Favorite Japanese Auteur

    SYDNEY — Los Angeles-based sales shingle Lightning Entertainment has taken international sales rights to three key Aussie films and has a further four in development, signaling renewed enthusiasm for product from Down Under and a hint of the personal bias of the shingle’s topper. For roughly a decade during the 1980s and 90s, Richard Guardian […]

  • John Cho Debra Messing Aneesh Chaganty

    'Searching' Takes Top Audience Award at L.A. Asian Pacific Film Festival

    SYDNEY — Los Angeles-based sales shingle Lightning Entertainment has taken international sales rights to three key Aussie films and has a further four in development, signaling renewed enthusiasm for product from Down Under and a hint of the personal bias of the shingle’s topper. For roughly a decade during the 1980s and 90s, Richard Guardian […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content